goldenlangur Posted May 7, 2009 Share Posted May 7, 2009 On an icy spring night the full moon burns with an intensity that makes Karma blink. Persimmon buds pale as if hesitant to draw attention, but in the bright streaks through greening boughs the checkered bark of the trees are clearly visible. She feels the scrunch of frozen grass as she makes her way into the middle of the Royal orchard. "You need an old persimmon tree to bury your pain", the old oracle had said. Fearful that her young brothers might hear and see her amongst the fruit trees by their old farmhouse, Karma chooses the Queen’s large grove. She knows the caretaker is on patrol only when the persimmon globules are ripening in autumn. In her jute bag she carries an earthen lamp, a cotton wick, a small container of vegetable oil, a box of matches and some incense sticks. She has written a name on a page torn from her school notebook. The lower branches brush her hair. Every now and then she stops and crouches but its only field mice or perhaps a deer rustling the undergrowth. She stops by a tree, its trunk, leaning away from its neighbour in an arc of shadow and she recalls the oracle’s words: "You’ll know when you come to it." A calmness has taken hold of her. With steady hands Karma pours oil into the earthen container, adjusts the wick in place, then lights it and the incense sticks. The letters on the paper wobble through her tears. It’s a name. A baby born without a pulse, cry or father. Only the old oracle and the full moon bore witness to a child burying her child. Karma holds the paper to the flame and sobs a prayer. She hears the faint cry of a baby. But the face that appears in the flame is not the angry one of her recurring dreams. Did she imagine a smile? goldenlangur Quote goldenlangur Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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